AirTran Airways Complaint - Rude And Dismissive Treatment And Unfair Overcharge For Luggage
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- Air Tran Airways
9955 Air Tran Blvd
Orlando, FL 32827
Attention Bob Fornaro
President and CEO
This is being sent to you in hopes you will review and have concerns for the airlines that you and others formed from a situation that most would have thought impossible. We were in Atlanta in the old days and have followed the growth of Air Tran Airlines since its beginning. It does not take many experiences like ours to reach a broad number of customers. Had it not been for the agents in Denver, Colorado, we would have a totally negative mindset regarding Air Tran Airlines.
On March 22, 2008, we flew from Atlanta Ga. to Denver, Colorado with 22 other people. Our confirmation number was J4PCYF. We were the only two flying Air Tran Airlines. All the others in our party were glad that they had flown other airlines when they heard of our experience with Air Tran in Atlanta, Ga. Air Tran got a lot of bad press within our group and with others who stood in line with us at baggage check in.
We had registered on line saying that we would check two bags each for a total of 100 lbs per person for two adults, my wife and me. We, instead, brought one bag each to check in. The total of our combined baggage was less than 100 lbs. and we were allowed to have at total of 200lbs.
The curb side agent quickly measured our suitcases at 62.5 inches each and stated in a very matter of fact way that would cost us each $50. He seemed to not be interested in anything but NEXT CUSTOMER IN LINE. We asked to see a supervisor as the cases were not full and the top could have easily been compressed to comply with baggage size allowance. A gentleman walked up but never spoke directly to us. He indicated to the person checking our bags in that we were to be charged that. He did not measure to confirm what was being said. We asked if there were someone else we could speak to and he said you can go inside. By this time, he had left the agent where we were and walked away so this was said from a distance and without looking at us.
We thought that maybe we just hit them at a busy time as we felt very dismissed when we asked them to re measure our bags. We then went inside and the outside agent must have notified them as the person inside seemed to not even look at the bags before she informed us that we were over sized and she began to measure. Again, eye contact was poor and we felt talked at instead of with.
Other bags larger were being loaded. She measures the bags at 62 inches and again, we made the same request that she press the air out of the top of the bag and measure. We had measured the bags at home and they complied with requirements. She stated she would not and that would be $100. and we could pay by credit card or cash. Now, we were talking 1 inch by her careless and quick measure. She loudly informed us that there could be an "increased fuel usage" caused by our oversized luggage. Her mathematics made no sense to any of us standing there as we were still 100 + pounds less than what we were allowed to check in.
We paid the penalty, as by now, we were running late. As we walked off the Air Tran agent stated loudly to the next customer that "some people can not be pleased no matter how nice you are to them". We had not raised our voices, not said anything rudely, just requested what we felt was reasonable. Our request, “please press the top of the case down to fill in the unused area of the luggage and then measure the cases.”
If we had been rude or demanding, the agent in Atlanta making an open comment to those following us in line was still out of order, but we were neither. Other customers observed the interaction and stated how ridiculous to charge us $100. for a hurried measure of 1 inch. Other gentlemen commented to us that Air Tran was not known for customer service and the agent’s increased fuel calculations were ridiculous.
Others in our party, who were traveling other airlines, had larger bags and were shocked at the penalty we had been forced to pay. The luggage was measured by two or three in our party and were well within the requirements when measure accurately. On our way home, we brought the same bags, but simply pressed the air out of the top. The agent in Denver was so different. She processed them, smiled and wished us a good trip.
The agents in Atlanta caused us to plan to NEVER travel Air Tran again and others in our party determined the same. The agent in Denver made us want to travel Air Tran again. The charge was ridiculous and unnecessary, but the rudeness left a very negative impression with us and others.
We are requesting the $50. penalty times 2 bags be returned. We are asking which agent and treatment best represents Air Tran? What is our recourse? Is the Atlanta airport staffed differently that the airport in Denver? We were well known to those 22 others traveling with us and they formed, along with us, a very negative mindset of your airline.
Will Air Tran Airlines lose our business by allowing the agents in Atlanta to be the standard?
Fred and Linda